Media influence or media effects are terms used in media studies, psychology, communication theory and sociology to refer to the theories about the ways the mass media affect how their audiences think and behave（wikipedia）. Nowadays the media texts influences people’s life everywhere in some degrees. For instance, commercial adverts influence customers to buy some unnecessary products. Because commercial adverts can make these products look attractive and also have discount. The violent video games make teenagers imitate the violent actions and lead many criminal things. But on the other hand, media texts also have a lot of positive influences on audiences. Such as charity advertises, it talks about education, safety and ethics. Now I am going to talk about one of them – road safety advertises.
Recently I watched the advertising on TV which are presenting the horrible results of drink drivers and drive without belt seatbelts. All the advertises are come from TAC road safety campaign. Then I researched the TAC on the internet. TAC- transport accident commission, is an Victoria Government-owned organization set up in 1986. It aims to pay for the benefits and treatment for people who were injured in transport accidents. It also get involved in promoting road safety in Victoria and improving the trauma system. (TAC) There are five main campaigns and four parts about road safety in TAC safety works. The most important one is Speed campaign. The target audiences of the speed campaign are drivers who like to speed driving, almost of them are teenagers and young people from 18 to 25. Because young people like to feel the passion of speed, maybe they influenced by the action movies. Other few speed drivers are working adults. Generally speaking the adults have awareness of safety and they can judge by themselves, but sometimes they are so hurry that speed drive. As the TAC current speed campaign, it presents that a younger man named Luck was driving his car speedy with three passengers in the morning. They were all injured and Luck was died. In this video, there are few representation of this accident, but many interviews about people who related to this accident. This advertise is positive. As the research undertaken by professor Jack Mclean of the NHMRC Road Accident Research Unit of the University of Adelaide shown the risk of involvement in a casualty crash doubles with each 5km/h increase in free travelling speed above 60km/h, and a 5km/h reduction in speed can result in a decrease of at least 15% in the number of crashes. And in this advertise that through his family members sadness, the eyewitness’s fear, the policemen’s sympathetic, it really make the audiences think about the horrible results of speed driving. It means that if you speed driving to make yourself happy while you make your life and your family suffer pain in the future.
Another important part of TAC road safety advertises is the Seatbelt Campaign. The campaign will recognize Victoria's role as the first jurisdiction in the world to legislate the wearing of seatbelts in 1970 and remind people to belt up. The Transport Accident Commission will run the 40 years of seatbelts campaign for the month of August, starting August 4. In 1970, when the legislation was introduced, Victoria was the first jurisdiction in the world, to mandate seatbelt wearing. The legislation was brought in following decades of campaigning by the community and media, amid concern about the high road toll. (TAC) Te target audiences of these advertises are both drivers and passengers who do not like to belt the seatbelt. The statistics shows that in 2009, 41 drivers and passengers killed were unrestrained. The majority were males (66%), 59% occurred during high alcohol time(12am-6am, 12pm-6pm), 49% of those killed were in crashes between the hours of 6pm and 6am, and 32 were drivers and 9 were passengers.(TAC) So the main target audiences should be male car drivers and maybe drinking some alcohol. In my experiences, there are lot of people do not belt the seatbelt in China, and there are also no advertises to advocate people use the seatbelt while driving. Recently I watched a advertise of TAC seatbelt campaign which was launched in 1992. It presented a young woman unfastens her seatbelt and leans forward to whisper to the driver. An argument starts. The driver realizes too late that someone has stepped out in front of a truck. He slams into the back of a parked vehicle. The girl flies through the windscreen and lands on the road. The girl is seen in a rehabilitation centre with facial scars and learning to walk again.(TAC) There are some graphic images in the advertise such as the girl was flew out of the window by the crash. And also some scream and loud noise in it. But all these elements are help their audiences know the result of no using seatbelts is so horrible and cruel. In order to encourage them belt seatbelts while driving. The influences positive but not significant as the speed drive. As the statistics shows that from 1989 to 2007 there is a decrease of accident occurred of did not using seatbelts, but from 2008, it began increased slightly. There are other advertises of TAC influence audiences on road safety. For instance, young drivers In 2009, 23% of drivers killed were aged between 18 and 25 years, however, this age group represents only around 13% of Victorian licence holders. And statistics shows the positive influences make the accident decreased from 110 to 33 during 1987 to 2009.
Relate to the media theories, the TAC advertises used the bullet theory. They made the accident screens which are we can not see it in our real life, and make the public awareness of road safety.
Overall, the TAC advertises really have some graphic images but the influences are positive than negative. It really helps Victoria road safety promoting from 1986. And the Serious injury data for 2009 in 2010 illustrate that in Melbourne, the road injury decreased 18% and rural Victoria also decreased about 17%.